TD 3 growing more organized

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:01 PM GMT on July 22, 2010

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Tropical Depression Three is steadily organizing, and appears poised to become a much stronger storm than was forecast. Water vapor satellite loops show that the upper level low to the west of TD 3 that has been bringing high levels of wind shear to the storm is now moving faster to the west than predicted. This faster motion has resulted in a reduction in wind shear over TD 3, to a moderate 10 knots. Satellite images of TD 3 show that the storm is taking advantage of the lower shear by developing several low-level spiral bands to the north and east of the center. However, the center of circulation is still exposed to view, and dry air is still getting injected into the core of the storm from the southwest. The storm's heavy thunderstorms have not increased in intensity this afternoon, and the amount of heavy thunderstorm activity near the core of the storm is still limited. TD 3 will need to build more intense thunderstorms near its center before significant intensification can occur. TD 3 is a small storm, and surface observations in the Bahamas do not show the circulation very well. An outer rain band of TD 3 is now visible on Miami long-range radar, and a flood watch has been issued for all of South Florida. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm at present, and have found top surface winds of 35 - 40 mph.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of TD 3.

Track Forecast for TD 3
The storm is in a straightforward steering current environment, and TD 3 should progress steadily to the west-northwest through Sunday. This will bring the storm ashore over the Florida Keys or South Florida on Friday, and into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. The latest set of model runs from 8am EDT (12Z) foresee a track more to the north than the previous set of model runs. This increases the threat to the oil spill region, and I give a 40% chance that the oil spill region will see tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or higher this weekend. Oil recovery and relief well drilling operations should cease. If TD 3 makes a direct hit on the oil spill region as a tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds, it will likely drive a storm surge of 3 - 6 feet with high waves on top into the Louisiana marshlands, fouling a large area with oil. Oil would also penetrate into Lake Pontchartrain, which lies just two feet above sea level. However, the wave action of the storm will dilute the oil to some degree, which may limit the damage to the marshlands.

If you are wondering about the specific probabilities of receiving tropical storm force winds at your location, I recommend the wind probability product from NHC. The latest 5 pm probabilities of various locations getting tropical storm force winds, 39 mph or higher:

Marathon 55%
Marco Island 43%
Miami 34%
New Orleans 33%
Galveston 13%

Intensity Forecast for TD 3
The primary detriment to development of TD 3 for the next three days will be the presence of the large upper-level low to its west. If the low remains in its present location, relative to TD 3, it will bring wind shear of about 10 knots to the storm. This will allow for steady intensification of perhaps 20 mph per day, and TD 3 could be a hurricane by Sunday at that pace. However, if the upper-level low slows down a bit, relative to TD 3, more shear and dry air will affect the storm, potentially weakening it. None of the computer models is calling for TD 3 to strengthen into a hurricane, but if the shear continues at 10 knots, I expect TD 3 will become a hurricane. My low-confidence intensity forecast gives TD 3 a 40% chance of becoming a hurricane. NHC is putting the odds of TD 3 being a hurricane at 2 pm Sunday at 15% with their 5pm advisory.

98L
An area of disturbed weather (98L) has developed in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. This system is under a low amount of shear, 5 - 10 knots, and probably does not have enough time to organize into a tropical depression before making landfall along the Mexican coast a few hundred miles south of the Texas border on Friday.

Resources for the BP oil disaster
Map of oil spill location from the NOAA Satellite Services Division
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA's interactive mapping tool to overlay wind and ocean current forecasts, oil locations, etc.
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

Next update
I'll have an update in the morning. ABC World News Tonight will probably show a sound bite I did for them today, on their 6:30pm broadcast.

Jeff Masters

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2769. Murko
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Is Andros big enough to affect a storm?


Andros is mostly marsh and water, with very little elevation. The highest point is probably about 100ft.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Is Andros big enough to affect a storm? Most Bahama islands are small enough that a tropical system would hardly notice them.


No..it wouldn't significantly affect the circulation of a moderately well organized system but it could set off deep convection solely thru convergence..making Bonnie look more powerful than she is.
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Quoting leelee75k:
Is the all stuff around PR and DR part of Bonnie or just the blob in the Bahamas?


Let me help you with that answer, take a look at the satellite animation at this link:

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/flash-ir4.html

Notice there are check boxes during the animation, click on the HDW-H check box. That shows you the upper-level wind directions. Now during the animation, notice how the wind directions make an anticyclonic (clockwise) spin over Bonnie. This the warm core anticyclonic top of Bonnie. Notice in the southeast quadrant of the anticyclone (over PR and DR and Haiti) that the upper flow is branching/splitting, thus we have upper air divergence over that area. That's what's triggering lift and T-storms over that area today, not Bonnie or anything Bonnie left behind. That T-storm cluster will die down and perhaps pulse up further west tomorrow.

Notice the same thing over the western Gulf. Anticyclone over 98L. Flow highly branching SE of the anticyclone over the Yucatan, with storms in that branching (divergent) upper flow.
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Quoting hurrkat05:
IM STARTING TO SEE SOME CHANGES IN THE ULL THAT HAS BEEN AFFECTING BONNIE ALL DAY..IT HAS MOVED FURTHER AWAY AND BONNIE IS BEGINNNING TO WRAP SOME HEAVY CONVECTION AROUND HER CENTER..I WOULD NOT AT ALL BE SURPRISED TO SEE BONNIE STRENGTEN TO 60MPH WINDS BY 5AM..IF THIS TREND CONTINUES WE COULD HAVE A REAL PROBLEM ON OUR HANDS WITH BONNIE PASSING RIGHT OVER THE GULF STREAM I SURE WOULD NOT RULE OUT RAPID INTENSIFICATION..IT LOOKS TO ME BONNIE HAS WON OVER THE ULL..DR MASTERS YOU MAY BE RIGHT AFTER ALL.WITH THE SHEAR SLACKING OFF AND BONNIE HAS NO MORE OBSTACLES IN HER WAY IM STARTING TO GIVE BONNIE A 30% CHANCE OF BECOMING A STRONG CATEGORY 2 HURRICANE...IM STARTING TO ALSO ESEE ASLOW DOWN IN FORWARD MOTION TELLING ME THE ULL IS NO LONGER AFFECTING BONNIE..WE MAY HAVE A NEW WITCH IN TOWN...ALL INTERESTS ON THE LA MISS COAST SHOULD REALLY WATCH THIS CAREFULLY AND HOPE IT SHIFTS MORE EASTWARD...


When does the next advisory come out?
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It was George Lopez, the comedian.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Orcasystems:


ROFLMAO, I didn't but the comedian I was just listening to did... Mexican comedian doing a redneck show in Florida.

looking for his name now.


Carlos Mencia?
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3756
HH should be over south FL now
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2762. EricSFL
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Is Andros big enough to affect a storm? Most Bahama islands are small enough that a tropical system would hardly notice them.


Andros is mostly a surface reef / swampy area. So do not expect it to affect the storm at all.
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I am a definite lurker. But I was just wondering if anyone knows what we can expect tomorrow in Key West?
Any info is great. Thanks!
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Quoting ElConando:


You just call S Fla northern Cuba?

Cono, yo y my convergence vamos a dormir..... I'll see the Bonnie on 95 tomorrow at 7am
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Quoting Orcasystems:


ROFLMAO, I didn't but the comedian I was just listening to did... Mexican comedian doing a redneck show in Florida.


The South American Population would not be pleased. They HATE being called Cuban. Not to mention what they say behind closed doors.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3756
2757. gator23
.
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Squeeze play with Bonnie, is that a trough digging down in the CATL?

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I guess this is one of the wait and see storms? Would I be right by thinking that being I know nothing about weather?
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Quoting ElConando:


You just call S Fla northern Cuba?


ROFLMAO, I didn't but the comedian I was just listening to did... Mexican comedian doing a redneck show in Florida.

looking for his name now.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
2752. Levi32
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Bonnie looks impressive, but hard for me to tell if the center is at that ball of convection or not. I suspect they are not co-located.

I wonder when we'll get IR or microwave satellites that can "see" low clouds as good as daylight visible shots do.


Extrapolating from the visible pics before the sun went down, it's not hard to imagine that the center is south of the convection, not under it.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Bonnie looks impressive, but hard for me to tell if the center is at that ball of convection or not. I suspect they are not co-located.

I wonder when we'll get IR or microwave satellites that can "see" low clouds as good as daylight visible shots do.


That would be nice for sure...gotta find the $$$ first...

v/r

Jon
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Bonnie is still tracking between Cuba and Northern Cuba :)


You just call S Fla northern Cuba?
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3756
atmo, you forgot about eunice and mamou lol. The people from here are definitely cajun...Not a trace of yankee.
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Quoting bappit:

Sounds interesting. Is there a radar showing the relationship to land? Maybe another source of data?

Given that the convection is occurring near whatever center that Bonnie has, the fact that strong convection is occurring seems to be the significant point.


Convergence due by wind from the sea encountering land can easily cause convection in unstable environments. The wind hits the land and slows down, creating a bit of a pile-up of mass (air) and it only has one other place to go...up.
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Not the best microwave imagery, but showing the low level circulation in the SW quadrant just underneath the convection.

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Quoting EricSFL:


No, they'll go to "El Versailles" instead. LOL


Lets all go to Padrino's and call it a date.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3756
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Bonnie looks impressive, but hard for me to tell if the center is at that ball of convection or not. I suspect they are not co-located.

I wonder when we'll get IR or microwave satellites that can "see" low clouds as good as daylight visible shots do.


Yeah, I've been playing that battle in many satellite loops, it seems its right at the southern edge of the deep convective ball.
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Evening All, I've been out of the loop tending to school stuff for the kiddos and decided to check in on this little girl. I am surprised to find out here that LA has called for state of emergency. Is that right? Maybe I should be more concerned. Usually I'm on top of this stuff but apparently missed this one. I suppose she could ramp up quickly but that has not really been forcast as I understand it. Although dare I say, Hurricane Camille was a little nothing off the Yucatan but became a small Hurricane with a big impact rather shockingly quickly. Not saying that this will happen similiarly mind you. :P Thanks to everyone for the info...
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2742. EricSFL
Quoting foggymyst:
@ ERic, you all planning a storm party at La Carreta? LOL


Hahaha... Well, at least I'll pass by to get some churros and hot chocolate.
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Quoting ElConando:


God forbid. The Cubans (I'm one) will be pissed.


Bonnie is still tracking between Cuba and Northern Cuba :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting ElConando:


I said for kicks :P.

OMG La carreta Im hungry....un cafesito?
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2739. Ossqss



clickable
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Is the all stuff around PR and DR part of Bonnie or just the blob in the Bahamas?
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Quoting Progster:


Heyyy...Canadians aren't yankees...we burnt down the white house in 1812! Yess...feel the envy :)


I can forgive the White House..Bob and Doug McKenzie, eehhhh...not so much.
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Quoting omgonozohshite:


I knew you would get a kick out of that!

Is StormW a switch hitter as well?


isn't there a chat room for that sort of stuff?

This is wwwwwunderground really. [laughs]
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With all the good info you kind folks have already posted here + a quick study of the Saharan Air Layer Analysis info indicating that a fast moving ULL came off the West coast of Africa in the last few days has now cut a huge hole in the Mid Level Dry air layer, which should provide temporary relief from Bonnie pulling in any copius amounts of dry air over its course. It sure seems like a lot of factors are leaning toward favorable developement of Tropical Storm Bonnie.

This also sets the stage for favorable development of another tropical system in the same region over the next few days before the dry air has a chance to settle back in.
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Quoting stillwaiting:
flooding event setting up for sefl,south fl,swfl and the key.....


these estimate are a bit low,also notice the area along swfl,this maybe the result of bonnie exiting near that area throwing moisture towards the coastline as it exits and maybe hugs the extreme swfl area!!!!


I've been forecasting between 3 and 6 inches rainfall for South Florida.
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2733. EricSFL
Quoting ElConando:


God forbid. The Cubans (I'm one) will be pissed.


No, they'll go to "El Versailles" instead. LOL
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@ ERic, you all planning a storm party at La Carreta? LOL
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2730. bappit
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Yeah, that makes sense. But you were litsting a distance criteria of 10 to 15 degrees longitude from an ULL so that the ULL enchances outflow instead of shears the system. I was wondering if that distance criteria could be shrunk down for a small system. A small system has a smaller anticylonic storm top, so it can be closer to the ULL without the anticyclonic storm top touching the ULL and getting sheared off by the ULL. Right?

From the NHC discussion:

IN ADDITION TO THE SOUTHERLY SHEAR...BONNIE IS CURRENTLY IN AN AREA OF UPPER-LEVEL CONFLUENCE ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE GULF UPPER LOW. THIS IS A LESS THAN IDEAL ENVIRONMENT FOR STRENGTHENING
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Quoting 954FtLCane:

Conan really.. I might miss this storm on 95 tomorrow on my way to work


I said for kicks :P.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3756
2728. gator23
Quoting ElConando:


God forbid. The Cubans (I'm one) will be pissed.

haha!
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Quoting gator23:

I just have one important question?
Will La Carreta still be open?


God forbid. The Cubans (I'm one) will be pissed.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3756
flooding event setting up for sefl,south fl,swfl and the key.....


these estimate are a bit low,also notice the area along swfl,this maybe the result of bonnie exiting near that area throwing moisture towards the coastline as it exits and maybe hugs the extreme swfl area!!!!
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Quoting ElConando:
For kicks had some beezy conditions yesterday past 12 midnight here in North Miami. Max sustained wind 22mph max gust 26mph.

Conan really.. I might miss this storm on 95 tomorrow on my way to work
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2722. gator23
Quoting EricSFL:


Heck yeah! The one on SW 87th and Bird Rd is open 24/7 under rain, shine, wind, whatever.

awesome!
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Quoting Progster:


Heyyy...Canadian aren't yankees...we burnt down the white house in 1812! Yess...feel the envy :)



can we stay on topic or close to it ur taking up blog space
Member Since: July 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1176
2720. gator23
Quoting TampaSpin:


Why didn't you go to bed as you was told.....LOL....j/K

not you too GEESH haha
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Quoting Progster:


Heyyy...Canadian aren't yankees...we burnt down the white house in 1812! Yess...feel the envy :)


Bravo..well said
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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